Share

Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

Sergeant York Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

When World War I hero Alvin York agreed to sell the movie rights to his life story to Warner Bros., it was on three conditions: (1) That the film contains no phony heroics, (2) that Mrs.York not be played by a Hollywood "glamour girl" and (3) That Gary Cooper portray York on screen. All three conditions were met, and the result is one of the finest and most inspirational biographies ever committed to celluloid. When the audience first meets young farmer Alvin York (Cooper), he's the cussin'est, hell-raisin'est critter in the entire Tennessee Valley. All of this changes when York is struck by lighting during a late-night rainstorm. Chalking up the bolt from the blue as a message from God, York does a complete about-face and finds Religion, much to the delight of local preacher Rosier Pile (Walter Brennan). Despite plenty of provocation, York vows never to get angry at anyone ever again, determining to be a good husband and provider for his sweetheart Gracie Williams (Joan Leslie). When America goes to war in 1917, York elects not to answer the call when drafted, declaring himself a conscientious objector. Forced to go to boot camp, he proves himself a born leader, yet still he balks at the thought of killing anyone. York's understanding commanding officer Major Buxton (Stanley Ridges) slowly convinces the young pacifist that violence is sometimes the only way to defend Democracy. Later on, while serving with the AEF in the Argonne Forest, Sergeant York sees several of his buddies, including his Bronxite best pal Pusher Ross (George Tobias), killed in an enemy ambush. His anger aroused, York personally kills 25 German soldiers, then single-handedly captures 132 prisoners. As a result, York becomes the most decorated hero of WW1, celebrated by no less than General John J. Pershing as "the greatest civilian soldier" of the war. The film won Gary Cooper his first Academy Award, and also picked up an Oscar for Best Film Editing. Not surprisingly, it ended up as the highest-grossing film of 1941. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:September 27, 1941

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Harry Chandlee Best Original Screenplay 1941 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nathan Levinson Best Sound 1941 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Walter Brennan Best Supporting Actor 1941 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Howard Hawks Best Director 1941 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences John Huston Best Original Screenplay 1941 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Max Steiner Best Dramatic Score 1941 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Sol Polito Best Black and White Cinematography 1941 Nominee
National Board of Review Gary Cooper Best Acting 1941 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Gary Cooper Best Actor 1941 Winner
New York Film Critics Circle Gary Cooper Best Actor 1941 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Margaret Wycherly Best Supporting Actress 1941 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Howard W. Koch Best Original Screenplay 1941 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences William Holmes Best Editing 1941 Winner

Cast

Gary Cooper
as Sgt. Alvin C. York
Walter Brennan
as Pastor Rosier Pile
Joan Leslie
as Gracie Williams
Ward Bond
as Ike Botkin
Stanley Ridges
as Maj. Buxton
Margaret Wycherly
as Mother York
George Tobias
as Michael T. "Pusher" Ross
Noah Beery, Jr.
as Buck Lipscomb
June Lockhart
as Rosie York
Dickie Moore
as George York
Clem Bevans
as Zeke
Harvey Stephens
as Capt. Danforth
David Bruce
as Bert E. Thomas
Charles Esmond
as German Major
Joe Sawyer
as Sgt. Early
Pat Flaherty
as Sgt. Harry Parsons
Erville Alderson
as Nate Tompkins
Murray Alper
as Gunnery Spotter
Clyde Cook
as British Soldier
Frank McGlynn, Sr.
as Farmer
Walter Sande
as Sergeant
Douglas Wood
as New York Spokesman
Arthur Aylesworth
as Marty, Bartender
Lucia Carroll
as Saloon Girl
Lane Chandler
as Corporal Savage
Elisha Cook, Jr.
as Piano Player
Howard Da Silva
as Lem
Jean del Val
as Marshal Foch
Charles Drake
as Scorer
Roland Drew
as Officer
Frank Faylen
as Butt Boy
Jo Gilbert
as Fat Woman
Joseph W. Girard
as Gen. John Pershing
Kit Guard
as Bit part
William Haade
as Card Player
Creighton Hale
as AP Man
Russell Hicks
as General
George Irving
as Harrison
Selmar Jackson
as Gen. Duncan
Si Jenks
as Bit part
Edward Keane
as Oscar of the Waldorf
Victor Kilian
as Andrews
Frank Marlowe
as Beardsley
Tully Marshall
as Uncle Lige
Charles B. Middleton
as Mountaineer
Frank Orth
as Drummer
Jack Pennick
as Corporal Cutting
Kay Sutton
as Saloon Girl
Ray Teal
as Bit part
Charles Trowbridge
as Cordell Hull
Theodore Von Eltz
as Prison Camp Commander
Frank Wilcox
as Sergeant
Guy Wilkerson
as Tom Carver
Gig Young
as Soldier
Donald Douglas
as Capt. Tillman
Lucia Carroll
as Saloon Girl
Kay Sutton
as Saloon Girl
William Haade
as Card Player
Howard Da Silva
as Lem
Victor Kilian
as Andrews
Theodore Von Eltz
as Prison Camp Commander
Russell Hicks
as General
Elisha Cook, Jr.
as Piano Player
Charles Drake
as Scorer
Si Jenks
as Bit part
Jo Gilbert
as Fat Woman
Charles Trowbridge
as Cordell Hull
Selmar Jackson
as Gen. Duncan
Arthur Aylesworth
as Marty, Bartender
Jean del Val
as Marshal Foch
Charles B. Middleton
as Mountaineer
George Irving
as Harrison
Edward Keane
as Oscar of the Waldorf
Frank Marlowe
as Beardsley
Gig Young
as Soldier
Ray Teal
as Bit part
Walter Sande
as Sergeant
Frank McGlynn, Sr.
as Farmer
Frank Orth
as Drummer
Jack Pennick
as Corporal Cutting
Lane Chandler
as Corporal Savage
Guy Wilkerson
as Tom Carver
Douglas Wood
as New York Spokesman
Frank Wilcox
as Sergeant
Joseph W. Girard
as Gen. John Pershing
Creighton Hale
as AP Man
Clyde Cook
as British Soldier
Tully Marshall
as Uncle Lige
Murray Alper
as Gunnery Spotter
Kit Guard
as Bit part
Roland Drew
as Officer
Frank Faylen
as Butt Boy

Crew

Howard Hawks
Director
Howard Hawks
Producer
Jesse Lasky
Producer
Hal B. Wallis
Producer
John Huston
Screenwriter
Harry Chandlee
Screenwriter
Howard Koch
Screenwriter
Sol Polito
Cinematographer
Arthur Edeson
Cinematographer
Leo F. Forbstein
Musical Direction/Supervision
Max Steiner
Composer (Music Score)
William Holmes
Editor
Nathan Levinson
Sound Recordist
Perc Westmore
Makeup
Advertisement